A true Coloradan is never supposed to admit that they’re surprised by the possibility of snow on May 18, but, screw that, this is still crazy: It might snow several inches on May 18.
Temperatures are expected to fall from now through Thursday night, when they’ll bottom out around 33 degrees. Combined with the possibility of heavy precipitation, that could produce significant snow, especially at the higher elevations around Denver.
“We’re going to be messing with a snowline, once again, probably in that 5,500 foot, 6,000 foot range,” said Kyle Fredin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. That will create winter driving conditions in the mountains and foothills from Wednesday through Friday
And the snow level could drop to 5,000 feet by Friday morning, potentially dropping snow on the plains, according to NWS. Weather5280 predicts that significant snowfall is possible in a swath that cuts up from Colorado Springs, along Denver’s western flank and up to Fort Collins.
Snowfall totals could range from 2 to 6 inches in the foothills to potentially 36 inches in parts of the mountains by Friday, NWS forecasts. Weather5280 says that if snow does form, it could be “a lot.”
The snow at the lowest elevations may not be more than 3 inches of wet and slushy — and Denver itself may well get rain. Overall, temperatures should be up to 30 degrees below normal.
This would be Denver’s latest measurable snow since at least 2007, but we’d still be a far cry from the record. The latest on record was about a half-inch on June 12, 1947.
Over the last 140 years, about a third of all Mays have seen some snow.
If we do get heavy snow, it can do significant damage to foliage. Be ready to deal with fallen trees. Also, sorry about your garden.